To the Editors:

I want to respond to the op-ed, Which is it, Mr. President? by Mr. [Stephen] Hudspeth.  I’m afraid it provides mere opinions and ignores facts.

Mr. Hudspeth forgot or ignored three of President Trump’s recent requests:


  • He demanded that NATO members spend 2% of their GNP on their own military which is currently at a serious shortfall, particularly for Germany enjoying a booming economy.  He has full support by Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of NATO.

  • Germany was urged to reduce its dependence on Russian natural gas. It would hurt a significant revenue stream for Russia, but would help Germany in a serious conflict. (See Ukraine!)

  • His sanctions against Russia are very severe and were just increased after the recent poisoning incident in Britain. Could they be more severe? Yes, but recent sanctions have already devalued the ruble. Going too far might make Putin desperate with unpredictable consequences.


Any of these three requests can’t please President Putin. So my conclusion is that Putin has very little dirt, if anything, on Trump. Putin would have used any of this material by now to discredit Trump.

The fact that President Trump wants to maintain a relationship between our two countries is reasonable as evidenced by the Obama administration’s attempt with a “Reset Button” idea by Secretary of State Clinton. Then followed by the “Red Line” incident where Syria, supported by Russia, used chemical weapons. The same inaction followed the Russian invasion of Crimea. The Polish missile crisis illustrates another incident where Obama refused to strengthen Poland in order to please Putin. What was behind the comment to then President Medvedev “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” If President Trump had made such a statement, the media would have crucified him. Was Obama the Trojan horse Mr. Nugent recently accused Trump of being, or is Trump simply maintaining reasonable relations with Putin as Obama did?

I was in many meetings where the non-attending manager was called a moron or worse out of some momentary impulse. Rex Tillerson was no doubt a qualified secretary of state but not a good fit with Trump’s approach. He was like Obama in trying to please everybody.

The hacking of the U.S. electrical system was known early in Obama’s tenure, though no action. (I spent my career in this business sector.) It may be worse today and more sophisticated, but Obama should have stopped it right from the beginning.  

Our society is too focused on personalities. A recent op-ed in the Swiss paper, Neue Zuericher Zeitung, said we must look at President Trump from two perspectives, personality and actions. I maintain, whether Democrat or Republican, we must always form opinions based on balanced and researched viewpoints, maintain a civil discourse and not react to the snapshots of a sensational media, which simply concentrates on personalities and ignores the positive actions and strong economy we presently enjoy. We all need to be more thoughtful.
Rudi Hoefling
Wilton, Aug. 14